by Thomas Bedward August 29, 2019
Joshua Ray Gray, better known by his stage name of Grey Matter was born in Santa Ana, California. Raised on the East side of Long Beach, he first developed his sound as a way to cope with the many hardships that tragically surfaced throughout his adolescent life. Moved from home to home in the foster care system, he moved out as soon as he came of age, living with his girlfriend and her family for three peaceful years. In 2015, Joshua joined the military, beginning a career that he proudly holds firm to today.
While serving, he met Robert E. Triplett, a talented man who inspired Joshua to return to music. It was the beginning of a new chapter in his life, and come 2019, Joshua, Robert and their friend Jerry Lassiter formed the music group, Worldwide Wolfpack, building their first glimmer of success on debut single ‘Jump in the Car’.
Released via the Amuse Music Service app and the group’s own label, Cali to Florida, the debut single laid a foundation that Joshua has been able to build on, releasing his own debut EP in ‘Evil’. A dynamic six-track release, the EP opens with the rampant title track, a two-and-a-half-minute cut that fires with a rapid, purposeful flow and cascading beats that add depth and character to an accomplished hip-hop anthem. Pushing the electronic flourishes and vocals with each chorus, the single is a visceral, moving epic that plays with a distinct and deserved confidence.
Second cut ‘Grand Son’ offers a far more melodic tact, bringing a stream of acoustic guitar and calling backing vocals into focus before turning the spotlight onto Joshua’s emotive vocals and perfectly placed delivery. It’s a moving and wonderfully textured song, pushing his sound into rawer, emotionally open territory with a sense of fearlessness.
As the EP continues, more creative flourishes abound, with ‘Picasso’ offering an opening line of fading orchestral sounds and a joyous repeated chorus that shifts to a far more serious tone. Elsewhere, ‘Sad Truth’ brings to light memories of yesteryear, while final cut ‘Thrones’ ends proceedings with an unyielding, uncompromising rap sound that you simply can’t shake.
A triumph of modern hip-hop that pays tribute to the legendary sounds of rap’s golden age, ‘Evil’ is a brilliant introduction to the Grey Matter name, proving his talents in style.
You can stream the EP now on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, Deezer, and I Heart Radio.
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